A recent focus group of newly arrived residents indicated one of the main barriers they face is locating appropriate housing. Some new residents coming to the area for work or lifestyle changes are not interested in buying property immediately. They prefer to settle in to the area, then determine where they might want to plant roots. This group tends to prefer the downtown areas that provide quick access to culture, food and recreation.
Social Service Agency workers have also expressed concern about housing, especially available inventory. They note many landlords with potential units don't understand the process, rules/regulations and inspections associated with subsidized housing program. Some municipalities with zoning restriction may not understand the needs of the housing industry.
The Action Committee suggested several topics/goals:
Determine how Wayne County can create and maintain affordable and appropriate housing for its citizens;
Find ways to spark new ideas for reusing existing spaces;
Develop, identify and create an inventory of housing opportunities in the county;
Identify the existing barriers to home ownership;
Enumerate the housing needs across all ages and demographics all across the county;
Address the impact of homelessness or "couch surfing" on education and youth workforce development.